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Warner Bros. Bringing 2021 Films To HBO Max & Theaters Simultaneously

The case for streaming new box office films at home was strengthened today with Warner Bros. announcement that they will release their entire 2021 slate of films to theaters and HBO Max simultaneously. This is a seismic shift regarding box office films debuting at home and strengthening the HBO Max catalog while also making the service more appealing to customers who were unsure about the service when it debuted. The crazy part of this new hybrid model is that it will not impact the current pricing for HBO Max, unlike Disney+, which charged a premium for Mulan when it was released on the service. Wonder Woman 1984 will be the first film released using this new model on December 25th. The film will have a 4K transfer with HDR when streamed on compatible televisions. Wonder Woman 1984 and all other films being released will have a one-month domestic exclusivity period on HBO Max before passing the baton to movie theaters in the U.S. and international territories for the rest of the film's release. Check out the quick sizzle reel below hyping the announcement

So what other Warner Bros. films can we expect to see on HBO Max courtesy of this new strategy? While the easy answer is all of them, here are some noteworthy ones you'll want to note in your calendar.

  • The Little Things
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Tom & Jerry
  • Godzilla vs. Kong
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  • In The Heights
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy
  • The Suicide Squad
  • Reminiscence
  • Malignant
  • Dune
  • The Many Saints of Newark
  • King Richard
  • Cry Macho 
  • Matrix 4

“We’re living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group,”

“No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021. With this unique one-year plan, we can support our partners in exhibition with a steady pipeline of world-class films, while also giving moviegoers who may not have access to theaters or aren’t quite ready to go back to the movies the chance to see our amazing 2021 films. We see it as a win-win for film lovers and exhibitors, and we’re extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.”

Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group

I commend WarnerMedia on taking this outside of the box approach and giving moviegoers the freedom of choice when enjoying their films. It is a win-win for fans and theaters, given the current circumstances and the uncertainty of when theaters can resume normal operations.

What do you think of this announcement? Will this be the end of theaters as we know it or will it be an evolution that will benefit everyone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.